In a patent filed early last year, and published today, it is revealed that Apple is looking at new ways to charge and sync their mobile devices. The dock connector has long been rumored to be on the chopping block, and this is just another piece of evidence to show that Apple isn’t married to it.
From the patent abstract:
[quote]Systems and methods are provided for docking a portable user device to a docking device or adapter via a clip mechanism. A portable user device may include two clip members which rotate relative to one another about an axis. A coupling pivot may be coupled to both clip members to facilitate relative rotation, and may provide a clamping force between the clip members. One or more terminals may be located on at least one of the clip members, allowing data transfer, charging, or other functions when the portable user device is docked using the clip mechanism.[/quote]
While this specifically shows off the possibility of using the clip of the Nano to charge, it would be silly for Apple to not be exploring similar options to charge and sync the iPhone and iPad. One of the most interesting features of Palm/HP’s now defunct phones was the Touchstone wireless charging. If Apple can come up with something equally interesting, it could seriously improve the way we go about charging and syncing our iDevices.
Patents aren’t promises of future product, but it is undoubtedly good to know that Apple is dedicating resources to something to replace the dock connector. It remains to be seen when we’ll see the good ol’ 30-pin die on iOS devices, but let’s hope for sooner rather than later.